Typically, press releases in our industry are more “promotion” than news, but a press release this past December 18 might just be a critical exception to prove that rule.
This release announced that Brookfield Properties has invested $200 million in Niido, a new home-sharing concept launched in partnership with AirBnB. The investment will fuel developments and acquisitions of communities that will be branded as “Niido powered by AirBnB.” Residents in these communities will be able to rent their units through AirBnB for up to 180 days a year. The communities will also be “optimized for home sharing and flexible living,” though details were not provided in the release.
Why might this be a tipping point? Up until now, participation with AirBnB has seemed to be mostly smaller operators. I have a strong sense there are some bigger players testing out allowing various forms of homesharing, but they’ve been doing so in a very quiet and secretive manner. The only large company to publicly stake out a strong position is Aimco, and they did so by suing AirBnB in an effort to prevent homesharing.
Now, for the first time, a large company is publicly on record that they are openly investing in this concept, and in partnership with AirBnB; and few, if any, companies are more well respected and more thoughtful about their approach than Brookfield.